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Advantages related to establishing companies in the Entrepreneurship Incubators

More and more young people consider running business activity as a way to complete the laid out professional goals. Many students are eager to establish their own companies already during their studies. Unfortunately, although they may have a good idea for the offered product or service, the reality (lack of financial or logistic potential) might seem to be a painful experience.

A solution for such persons is starting up their business in the incubator of the entrepreneurship. European Commission defines it as: ‘a set place, where a large number of newly established companies are concentrated on a relatively limited space’[1].

Considering diverse functions of the Entrepreneurship Incubators, there are two areas of incubation:

  • preincubation – at this level an idea for a business arises, which is refined later on;
  • incubation – starts within the business establishment.

The meaning and role of the incubation process show its following descriptions[2]:

  • supporting faster grow in new entrepreneurships and elimination of the risk related to their potential bankruptcy;
  • providing assistance in identifying investment needs in a given area;
  • facilitation of the commercialisation process of knowledge and results of research conducted at universities;
  • contributing to the increase in employment level and active suppressing problems, which may weaken the development potential of regions.

The comparison of the available resources staying at the entrepreneurship incubator’s disposal, taking the classification to basic categories into consideration, was presented in table 1.

Table 1. Types and description of the resources offered by the entrepreneurship incubator.




talented scientist, engineers, technicians, entrepreneurs, unqualified workers (porters, receptionists);


financial and capital resources necessary to start up a business, e.g. seed capital, assistance under structural funds; permanent monitoring and its flow control are crucial;


laboratories equipped in specialist device, office rooms (faxes, telephones, computers etc.);


question of intellectual property rights protection, invention patenting;


organizational structures, routine behaviour, procedures related to management, organizational culture, accounting supervision over financial activity, offering legal advice (e.g. preparing draft contract), assistance in promotional actions execution;


building relations and networks – either at the entrepreneur level (e.g. industrial partners network), or at the scientific community level (academic teachers, researchers, representatives of the industry world).

Source: A. Lockett, A. Vohora, M. Wright, Universities as Incubators without Walls, ”Entrepreneurship and Innovation”, November 2002, p. 247.

Incubator gives new companies legal personality. Therefore you do not have to bear costs connected with business enterprise registration. Moreover, thanks to a rich offer of thematic trainings or meetings with entrepreneurs, mutual observations as well as establishing contacts (networking). That last instrument determines the added value of the entrepreneurship incubators in many cases.

According to article 86 of the Higher Education Act ‘for better use of university’s intellectual and technical potential as well as transfer of the research work results to the economy, universities can run academic incubators of entrepreneurship (Akademickie Inkubatory Przedsiębiorczości – AIP) and technology transfer centres’. AIP’s job is above all support for economic activity of academic community or university’s workers and students who are entrepreneurs.

The largest academic initiative aiming at promotion of business activity start up among young Poles has been the network of Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship (AIE), which functions at 31 best universities in Poland within last few years. Around 1100 companies develop within AIE[3]. For example, there are about 115 active companies which associate around 160 entrepreneurs in Academic Incubator of Entrepreneurship in Warsaw School of Economics[4]. Perhaps, then, it is worth joining the group of leaders, if so many people have already decided to make the first step?

Let’s have a look what type of benefit package Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship offer to their beneficiaries (cf. table 2).

Table 2. Benefits offered by AIE.



Activity as a division in the incubator

Young entrepreneurs can use the incubator’s legal personality – time and cost saving related to a company registration.

Running bookkeeping by the accounting office


All accounting documents of the company are appropriately verified (incoming documents) or issued (outcoming documents) by AIE workers, and then sent to the Financial-Accounting Department AIE in Warsaw in order to keep them in a book. Additionally, a person running a business activity can learn procedures and rules which specify turnover of the bookkeeping documentation.

Getting legal advices

AIE provides legal advices within economic activity, constructing individual contracts and their verification.

Opening company individual bank account

Company income is transferred to a company individual account.

Advisory services within running own business

Giving advice on: starting a business, marketing, public relation, bookkeeping, legal regulations etc.

Promotion in mass media

Promotion in information portals (WP, Onet, Interia,, dailies (Gazeta Wyborcza), weeklies (Newsweek), radio stations, national television stations (TVN CNBC, TV Biznes).

Using the office space

Access to the office space of incubator and its basic devices (computers with Internet access, telephones, printers, faxes). Possibility to use incubator’s address as a company’s registered office.

Making teaching rooms with its multimedia devices accessible

Considering AIE are located at universities, access to professionally equipped teaching rooms (used for organized trainings, recruitment process etc.) is easier.

Business meetings organization and aid with establishing contacts

Building interpersonal relations, business contacts.

Aid with gaining funds for investment

Support with gaining structural funds, commercial credits or financial resources from public or self-government organs.

AIE benefit package offer Benefits4Business

Constant build-up of the benefit packages and additional benefits for AIE beneficiaries.

Source: analysis based on information accessible on Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship,, [05.01.20101].

Table 3 presents a summary comparison of the costs of a business activity established within AIE and outside AIE.

Table 3. Comparison of monthly costs of a business activity

Kind of costs

Company outside the AIE

Company within the AIE


company registration

100–270 zł

0 zł


the Social Insurance Institution

320–800 zł

0 zł


office maintenance

400 zł

in the benefit package



min. 150 zł

25 documents in the package



trainings and conferences

500 zł

in the benefit package


legal advice

100 zł/hour

2,5 hour in the package


company promotion

600 zł

in the package


Approximate monthly cost of business activity in zł

around 2000 zł

250 zł


Source: Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship,, [05.01.2011].

Own company registration within AIE is not complicated, which is presented by the scheme below (cf. table 4).

Table 4. Stages of a business start up within AIE







  • fill in the application form on,
  • pay attention to the part: enterprise description (mini business plan),
  • do not forget to present the market analysis,
  • choose the incubator, where you want to start your company;



  • personal meeting with the manager of chosen incubator,
  • possibility to present strong and weak points of the enterprise;



  • by AIE Council’s advice the manager decides about a candidate’s being qualified for the programme of ‘preincubation’;



  • a person, who signed the contract and paid in the amount of 250 zł to the AIE’s account, becomes a rightful beneficiary;



  • a beneficiary learns fundamental issues related to running a company (bookkeeping, invoice system etc.),
  • the final stage of the training is providing beneficiary with logins and passwords to the accounts and systems necessary in order to run a business within AIE.

Source: analysis based on information accessible on Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship,, [05.01.2010].

Nowadays more and more people planning to run own business activity, consider starting it in an entrepreneurship incubator. This follows not only from its rich resources provided to partnership companies. Attractive factor can be also, or maybe above all, the fact that continuing a business in the entrepreneurship incubator considerably increases company’s chances to ‘survive’, which is proved by numerous research in this area. Therefore, while the real part of the economy experiences the consequences of world crisis, so many enterprises seek for extra security in order to remain on a competitive market. A rich offer of the entrepreneurship incubators is an attractive factor, a kind of an incentive for newly established companies.

Anna Marszałek


  1. European Commission, A Classification of Science Parks and Related Development, „Official Journal”, 27.07.1990.
  2. Lockett A., Vohora A., Wright M., Universities as Incubators without Walls, ”Entrepreneurship and Innovation”, November 2002.
  3. Marszałek A., Rola uczelni w regionie, Wydawnictwo Difin, Warszawa 2010.


[1] Por. European Commission, A Classification of Science Parks and Related Development, „Official Journal”, 27 July 1990.

[2] Cf. A. Lockett, A. Vohora, M. Wright, Universities as Incubators without Walls, ”Entrepreneurship and Innovation”, November 2002, p. 246.

[3]This is the biggest of this type of institution in the Middle-Eastern Europe. Cf. Academic Entrepreneurship Incubator webpage,, [05.01.2011].